One can tell it's the Friday night before a Sunday presidential debate when...
First, the FBI releases 350 previously-deleted emails from Hillary Clinton's private server that she had failed to hand over to State. As Politico reports,
The first major batch of Hillary Clinton emails recovered by the FBI during its probe of her private email server went public Friday, including a message where one of her top political advisers floated the idea of her running for vice president in 2012.
“Only way for [President Barack Obama] to win second term is to ask you to be VP – he will realize that after midterms,” wrote Mark Penn, a pollster and chief strategist on her unsuccessful 2008 presidential bid.
Friday's release of previously unseen Clinton emails prompted another round of heartburn for Clinton's presidential campaign and anticipation on the part of Republican critics hoping for an October surprise.
However, the release proved to be something of a snoozer since many of the messages scheduled for release are already in the public domain in some form.
Then Wikileaks unleashes a fresh batch of Podesta-related hacked emails, refreshing the world's memory of the 'pay-for-play' allegations surrounding Russia, Iran, China, and Uranium One.
Today WikiLeaks begins its series on deals involving Hillary Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta. Mr Podesta is a long-term associate of the Clintons and was President Bill Clinton's Chief of Staff from 1998 until 2001. Mr Podesta also controls the Podesta Group, a major lobbying firm and is the Chair of the Center for American Progress (CAP), a Washington DC-based think tank.
In April 2015 the New York Times published a story about a company called "Uranium One" which was sold to Russian government-controlled interests, giving Russia effective control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for the production of nuclear weapons, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of US government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off the deal was the State Department, then headed by Secretary Clinton. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) comprises, among others, the secretaries of the Treasury, Defense, Homeland Security, Commerce and Energy.
As Russian interests gradually took control of Uranium One millions of dollars were donated to the Clinton Foundation between 2009 and 2013 from individuals directly connected to the deal including the Chairman of Uranium One, Ian Telfer. Although Mrs Clinton had an agreement with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors to the Clinton Foundation, the contributions from the Chairman of Uranium One were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons.
When the New York Times article was published the Clinton campaign spokesman, Brian Fallon, strongly rejected the possibility that then-Secretary Clinton exerted any influence in the US goverment's review of the sale of Uranium One, describing this possibility as "baseless".
But, finally, and what everyone will be talking about, is the release by The Washington Post of Donald Trump having an "extremely lewd conversation about women in 2005."
Donald Trump bragged in vulgar terms about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women during a 2005 conversation caught on a hot microphone — saying that “when you’re a star, they let you do it” — according to a video obtained by The Washington Post.
The video captures Trump talking with Billy Bush of “Access Hollywood” on a bus with Access Hollywood written across the side. They were arriving on the set of “Days of Our Lives” to tape a segment about Trump’s upcoming cameo on the soap opera.
In the leaked audio, apparently recorded while Trump was on a bus with former Access Hollywood host Billy Bush, Trump talks about trying — and failing — to have sex with an unnamed woman. He had been married to his wife Melania for a few months at the time of the conversation.
“I did try and fuck her. She was married,” Trump says, according to the audio published by the Post.
“And I moved on her very heavily," he says. "In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.’ ”
“I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married,” Trump says. “Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”
At another point in the recording, Trump is heard saying that "when you're a star," women let you "do anything."
“Grab them by the pussy,” he says.
The Clinton campaign wasted no time, responding to the 'lewd' Trump comments:
"This is horrific we cannot allow this man to be President."
Trump apologized in a statement...
“This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago..."
"[Former President] Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course - not even close," Trump added.
"I apologize if anyone was offended."
So one hand a presidential candidate with a recidivist, cheating husband, on the other a married man who admits he wanted to have sex with a woman in a private setting.
Having said that, let's leave the real debate to Twitter. These seemed to sum things up perfectly...
Trump talks like Bill Clinton acts but we are suppossed too condemn ones speech but overlook the others actions. #botharehorrific.
Louis Winthorpe III @LWinthorpe
So we find out Trump talks like more than half the guys you know. That's supposed to make me think he's now less electable, not more?
One thing is certain, family values arent the winner here.